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Inside Mormon Music: A look back at 'Inside Mormon Music'

Published: Thursday, Jan. 27 2011 6:30 a.m. MST

For the past couple of years, I’ve written a weekly music column and have had the privilege of interviewing some incredibly talented people from all over the world — from the United States to Finland to New Zealand.

Each musician I’ve interviewed has had something different and important to share.

The biggest thing I’ve taken away from the interviews is that what we do can be so much bigger than just what we do. It’s all about the way we serve. It’s about where our hearts are and seeking to give more of our hearts each day.

That applies to everyone, not just musicians or artists.

To the teacher, mechanic, student, receptionist, doctor and mother, what you do can be so much bigger if you choose to believe it and let it be so. Developing and sharing your gifts in whatever you do will bring great fulfillment and joy to you and to others.

Each musician who’s experienced success has also had to carve out his or her path in spite of bumps in the road. They’ve done it with persistence, practice and faith in God.

This is my last Mormon Times column because my path in life is taking a new direction for the next few months. I will miss highlighting the amazing talents of musicians because there are so many people out there making a difference with their talents. I hope each of you will continue to seek out music that lifts you and let music be a positive power in your life.

Here are a few favorite quotes from various musicians I interviewed.

  • “It is my dream to create experiences for audiences that will allow them to feel the same feelings that I feel when I watch a brilliant piece of theater. That feeling that catches in my chest and lights me up inside, urging me to be a little better and to reach for my dreams. I believe in the power of musical theater to do that for people. That is why I do what I do.” — Becca Schwartz
  • “My model is the Savior. How would the Savior handle performing? That’s been my goal for many years. … Could I play with humility and yet confidence born of that humility and the same love and compassion … that the Savior would play if he were playing my part? … So I’ll start by reading scriptures and do some pondering, and then that’ll lead me into prayer where I ask the Lord to help me grapple with these conflicting motives and to have my motives pure. ... When that really happens, the Spirit can actuate us in ways that we really could never do on our own. Performances can be more exhilarating, and more energetic, more focused than ever. So many years I did that before performances; it’s almost become a way of life. … It’s about service.” Ray Smith
  • “(If I could share one of my songs with the entire world, it’d be) a beautiful piano arrangement of ‘I Know That My Redeemer Lives’ accompanied by a huge string section. Why this tune? Because no matter if I lived or died, I can’t deny what I’ve felt and know concerning Jesus, the Redeemer of the world. I have a new heart beating in me, and I can still feel God’s love — it’s not some physical thing, it’s a spiritual power. And I share that with everyone, not just the Mormon Times. I can’t deny his love.” — Paul Cardall
  • “Our goal is to help children know that they always have the power to make their own choices, that the path of peace leads to happiness and security, that weapons do not equal power and safety, and that violence is not the answer. Sometimes a song can give us the strength to turn away from that which is wrong. Our goal is for these children to become instruments of peace.” — Liz Shropshire
  • “I just wanted to be able to tell the world that even in the darkest moments there’s always hope. That hope comes through the Atonement and through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” — Rob Gardner
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